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Iorg, Unhappy With Last Season, Is Ready to Concentrate for Royals

March 26, 1985|Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Few complaints were raised in 1984 by the champions of the American League West over the performances of Dane Iorg. Iorg, however, had a few about himself.

"I didn't hit the ball like I should have," said the 34-year-old utility player the Kansas City Royals purchased last spring from the St. Louis Cardinals. "As I look at it, I think my biggest problem was that I just wasn't prepared."

A waning of Iorg's concentration from the level he sought should have been expected.

A summer earlier he went through a trying campaign wasted in large part by wrist and finger injuries. The inactivity saddled him with a .267 batting average and questions about his future.

"I liked the Cardinals. They treated me great, but I knew it was time to leave," said Iorg, who had been a .529 hitting star for St. Louis during the 1982 World Series.

"And I just didn't feel like I was mentally prepared to play the game when I came to spring training. That carried over to the season and then, when I was traded to Kansas City, it was like a new start. I tried to turn it on, but it just wasn't there," he said.

With the Royals, however, the modest average of .255 compiled by Iorg in 79 games may have been deceptive.

He hit safely in 13 of the first 15 games he played, platooning part of the time at first base with Steve Balboni against right-hand pitching. He also got the most out of his total of 30 runs batted in, chipping in six as game-winning hits.

A pinch run-scoring single contributed by Iorg on Sept. 25 may have been his most important of 60 hits for Kansas City, producing a tie that led to an eventual key victory.

"I can't see any difference," he said in respect to the new pitching he faced.

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